Slow down and get it right

County responsible for speeding ticket flap, and county should fix it

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Something about the local solicitor’s comments on the River Watch Parkway speeding ticket debacle didn’t sit well with us. But we weren’t sure what it was.

Then our readers figured it out for us.

Online commenters below The Augusta Chronicle’s story June 28 noted the incongruity of the situation: Richmond County officials wrongly ticketed speeders along a stretch of River Walk for several months – and now they expect the motorists to be responsible for fixing the situation.

Really? It’s the government’s fault – the temporary speed limit reduction was in error and arguably illegal – but it’s the public’s obligation to come forward to get the tickets dismissed?

The sheriff’s office had the wherewithal to camp out for days-on-end on River Watch to catch commuters in what, in retrospect, was essentially an illegal speed trap – but they can’t track down the errant citations? It’s the recipients’ responsibility?

We appreciate Richmond County State Court Solicitor Kellie McIntyre’s assertion that those tickets “that were issued because of the error will be dismissed.” But The Chronicle story goes on to say that, “She said it would be very difficult for her staff to identify every ticket that was issued under the erroneous speed limit, so it will be up to individual drivers to bring the matter to the attention of the court.”

We understand the courts are swamped. An often combative culture with loads of blameless individuals makes certain of it.

But let’s have some basic accountability here. The tickets were issued in error. And while the blame is being passed around – the county says a private contractor working on the nearby Augusta Canal towpath inadvertently overstepped its authority to reduce the speed limit – frankly, the driving public doesn’t care who’s at fault. The county is responsible. The county should fix it.

We heartily agree with “Riverman” and our other online commenters who made that point under the story June 28.

“Seems the sheriff’s department could help out identifying the tickets issued,” writes a commenter named “Point to Ponder.” “They wrote them. They must have a system in place that keeps tabs of tickets from each shift and precinct?

“Each deputy can go into their ticket book and identify those issued on Riverwatch. Surely there is someone bright enough in the Solicitor’s office to get the job done with the sheriff’s help. This is a government/bureaucratic problem which they caused. They need to fix it for all those issued tickets and not put it on (motorists’) backs to come forward. ... What if they don’t live here...?

“The pressure is on our elected officials to get it right.”

We listened to those readers, and we think the county should too.

It boggles the mind to think that nobody at the county – not the deputies, not the department, not the court – can track down the tickets issued in error. Surely there are records to be culled. One could start with the deputies’ own books. They’re schooled in maintaining evidence.

It may be just a matter of
caring enough.

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dstewartsr
20389
Points
dstewartsr 07/09/13 - 09:55 pm
7
4
"It may be just a matter of caring enough."

And they DON'T give a rat's hat except for playing Storm Trooper, getting in people's faces swaggering about, arresting anyone for interfering with an officer for not IMMEDIATELY kowtowing. Not to mention the "theft by taking" when they cash the checks for the money they stole.

The solicitor can't track down the tickets? Yeah. Like she's trying. The whole crew down there needs to be investigated for organized criminal enterprise.

deestafford
30535
Points
deestafford 07/09/13 - 11:19 pm
10
0
It can be done in about half an hour.

Just have a formation of all deputies and have them bring their ticket books. Then the sheriff says,

"All deputies who wrote speeding tickets on River Watch during the time period from____ to____ step over here. All others are dismissed to go about your assignments. Now, I want each of you to write down the name, vehicle licence plate number and speed of all you wrote a ticket to. Now, put a check next to anyone who was going over 64 miles per hour because they will still get the ticket for speeding over the 55 miles per hour. Any questions? Good. Give me your list."

myfather15
55844
Points
myfather15 07/10/13 - 06:14 am
5
6
dstewartsr

How many times have you been arrested? It's pretty clear you have a serious issue with law enforcment that is very PERSONAL!! Care to explain?

myfather15
55844
Points
myfather15 07/10/13 - 06:20 am
8
3
deestafford

You are absolutely RIGHT!! It would NOT be that hard to track these tickets down, using the deputies, not Mrs. McIntyre!! You can just about gaurentee that each deputie who wrote tickets there are in the TRAFFIC DIVISION of the Sheriff's Office, which narrows in down and excludes road patrol!!

Then, during muster you ORDER that each deputy who issued citations on that particular roadway, get THEIR COPY, which they do have and take it to the solicitor's office and Nolle prosse these charge. They have muster EVERY DAY, so this shouldn't be that hard. Traffic units are also divided to the north and south ends of the County, so the south deputies wouldn't even be involved!

Now, deputies do move around to different divisions and areas. So there might be a few who have moved on from the traffic division. In that scenario, it should be the supervisor who recognizes this and tracks down those deputies.

GiantsAllDay
10295
Points
GiantsAllDay 07/10/13 - 08:23 am
5
3
Check out this clip from a

Check out this clip from a DUI checkpoint on the 4th of July in Tennessee. Notice the guy rolled his window down ONLY 1-2", ONLY FAR ENOUGH TO COMMUNICATE. Dont be bullied by the gestapo when they threaten to arrest you for obstruction for not rolling the window all the way down-you dont have to! This has gone viral on the Internet. The sheriffs dept says it is "investigating". Operation rolling thunder was just an opportunity for the cops to throw their weight around and the sheep had to meekly comply. ORL had nothing, nada, zip, zilch to do with safety. It did enhance revenue and gave the cops a chance to live out their fantasies. See below:
http://youtu.be/jE5b-IZpfUg

Riverman1
90849
Points
Riverman1 07/10/13 - 09:02 am
7
0
Let's See What Happens

MyFather15, who is a fine police officer, gives us a practical way to handle those tickets. Let's see if it happens.

As an aside, my distaste for DUI checkpoints or whatever you want to call them is illustrated in the GiantsAD video. Bending people's rights has to be stopped. Everyone should watch it. "Papers please."

GiantsAllDay
10295
Points
GiantsAllDay 07/10/13 - 09:31 am
5
1
Thanks, Riverman. Notice the

Thanks, Riverman. Notice the technique the officer uses with the dog. Officers are trained on how to make thier dogs give a false hit. They usually do it off camera however. Anyway, they say that when an officer makes a traffic stop, his number 1 nightmare is if the driver has a weapon. His number 2 nightmare is if the driver has a camera.

Darby
28430
Points
Darby 07/10/13 - 09:43 am
6
2
Note to Richmond County - Just say it can't

be done and make reference to George Bush or the Sequester.

Either one should do the trick.

soapy_725
43965
Points
soapy_725 07/10/13 - 09:49 am
0
0
We are talking public servants who can't report their work hours
Unpublished

We are talking public servants who can't report their work hours. They de facto own and drive $60K bat mobiles with online computers and they can't enter their beginning and ending work hours.

myfather15
55844
Points
myfather15 07/10/13 - 10:34 am
5
3
"Officers are trained on how

"Officers are trained on how to make thier dogs give a false hit. They usually do it off camera however."

You actually have no clue what you're talking about. Stop watching youtube videos and believing yourself to be an expert!! K-9 Handlers are NOT trained on how to make their dog give a false alert!! If they do this, I promise it wasn't in their training.

I've watched the video, even before you mentioned it. All the handler is doing is drawing the K-9's attention to the door or certain parts of the vehicle. K-9's ONLY alert to the odor of narcotics, or bomb material, whichever they're trained to detect. They DO NOT alert simply because the deputy is pointing to that area!! That's just getting the dog to sniff that area. We are taught to kiss our hand, then point to an area we want checked!! Some dogs aren't trained to the kiss and point technique, some are.

If I want the dog to sniff the trunk, I kiss my hand and point to the trunk. If I want him to check the passenger door, I do likewise. But that doesn't change the fact the dog WILL NOT alert unless the odor of narcotics is present.

This is just a bunch of bla, bla, bla from someone who doesn't know what they are talking about; but BELIEVES they do. Which is the worst ones!!

GiantsAllDay
10295
Points
GiantsAllDay 07/10/13 - 10:50 am
3
3
They found nothing in the

They found nothing in the car. And I notice you failed to address the mistreatment of this driver. Also, did a representive of the government just tell me to stop watching YouTube videos? What are they afraid of? This is where it's gone, folks? Officer, if its ok with you and with your permission, I'll watch what I choose to and obtain my information from the sources of my choice. Sheesh!

myfather15
55844
Points
myfather15 07/10/13 - 11:24 am
3
3
Aaaaah, ignoring the second part of the comment

I didn't say stop watching videos PERIOD, I said, stop watching YOUTUBE videos and believiing yourself an expert!! That's actually a pretty good piece of advice!

I actually watched a video on youtube the other day on smoking "boston butt". Do you think I will now win the State BBQ Championship??

GiantsAllDay
10295
Points
GiantsAllDay 07/10/13 - 11:36 am
3
3
Some light reading. Police

Some light reading. Police dogs have a keen sense of smell and are a valuable tool but the desire to please its master trumps everything:
http://reason.com/archives/2011/02/21/the-mind-of-a-police-dog/singlepage

myfather15
55844
Points
myfather15 07/10/13 - 11:39 am
4
3
Giantsallday

Do you really want me to keep refuting your bogus claims all day? Do you realize that if marijuana has been in a vehicle PERIOD, in the last few hours or even DAYS in some cases, especially being smoked; the odor saturates into the interior of the car? Do you also realize meth and cocaine are the same if smoked in the vehicle? Do you also realize DOGS can detect odors that we can't?

So, if a driver has HAD narcotics in the vehicle at ALL, the dog will pick up on the scent. That doesn't mean its still IN the vehicle, just that's its been in there.

Do you also realize we seize 100's of thousands of dollars each year based upon the dog's nose? If we find someone traveling, say on I-20, with $10,000.00 (cash) or more in their vehicle, by federal guidelines the money can be seized and the owner have to show proof where it came from. Remember, this is CASH, not drugs; but the CASH has usually been in the presence of drugs. We will take three identical paper bags and place the money in one of them. Place them on the ground, equally spaced; then run the dog around them. The bags are closed and look identical but the dog will hit on the one with the money EVERY TIME!!! Why? Because the odor of narcotics has saturated within the currency!! You can try all you want; but society has tested this too many times and proven it accurate, or they wouldn't admit a positive alert in Court!!

myfather15
55844
Points
myfather15 07/10/13 - 11:47 am
3
3
Giants

Instead of reading some article on "reason.com" why do you look up ACTUAL case law!! There are too many to list and it's ALWAYS on the side of the K-9. You can't beat there nose!! If you could, it would already be done!

Now, of course there have been cases against the handlers! But those are few and far in between. Too many camera's now days to get away with it very long!! The vast majority of corrupt cops GET CAUGHT!! But as with EVERY profession where thousands of people are employed, there will be a few bad seeds. But to claim K-9 officers in general are TAUGHT to how to make their dogs give an alert, that's a lie!! I didn't even train my dog, Tarheel Canine in North Carolina trained him. I'm not a K-9 trainer. There is a BIG difference in those who TRAIN them from puppies and those who HANDLE the dogs in the line of duty!! Most LE agencies don't even train their own K-9's, private companies do and it's a big business!! BUT, before you mentioned it; ALL K-9's MUST pass the State test before being certified. Which means we do controled "Hides" where we hide narcotics in a large area. The K-9 must find 100% of the hides or he fails and will NOT be certified!!

GiantsAllDay
10295
Points
GiantsAllDay 07/10/13 - 12:30 pm
3
2
Methinks thou dost protest

Methinks thou dost protest too much. Well, I appreciate your comments but if its all the same to you, I will continue to distrust the system. Here's one big reason:
http://youtu.be/D3vfqUkZ8xg
Here's the longer version on what actually happened:
http://youtu.be/rJqq6KCOkdM
Is officer Michael reichert a hero among K9 officers?

myfather15
55844
Points
myfather15 07/10/13 - 01:00 pm
2
3
Naaaw, I don't protest too much.

I just don't want radical views being the only ones heard. That's the only reason I comment on here at all. You put out your views, which in my opinion are uneducated, "youtube" views; and I put mine out there, based on 16 years of training. Let the people decide who they believe might be more rational. But remember, I NEVER said there isn't rogue INDIVIDUAL officers; there certainly are, but they usually only last a few years in this line of work.

myfather15
55844
Points
myfather15 07/10/13 - 12:55 pm
2
3
It's perfectly fine to

It's perfectly fine to distrust the system as I distrust the federal government!! Yes, I didn't trust them when Bush was President either. But we're talking about LE on the local level and not federal law enforcement. Instead of simply voicing your distrust, tell us what system you would replace it with. How would YOU fix it?

Because many men have thought they could fix everything and all failed!! When you are supervising MANKIND, there is going to be individuals who commit atricious acts. From the smallest departments to the largest, there will be those who shouldn't be there. You have to find them, recognize them and get rid of them. But, when you hire someone to replace them, you won't know how they are until you've hired them and put them to work. They might be corrupt as well.

Bizkit
34439
Points
Bizkit 07/10/13 - 02:44 pm
3
0
MyFather obviously you are in

MyFather obviously you are in law enforcement and have lost your objectivity so don't be so sensitive. I come from a family of physicians. And for both if a person has a bad experience with one-well then they are all bad. Now there are some fine police officers but in some small towns there are some who come to be officers who spent a lot of time at the jail-I should say in the jail. I've been bullied by an officer too because he was in a bad mood and I did nothing but be polite and apologetic-another cop calmed him down-he was an arse. But I've been an arse to people too so I forgave him for a bad day. There is the Good, Bad, and Ugly. I guess you were a Good-but maybe ugly too. hee,hee. I tell you there are times I'm so glad to see an officer and over the decades most of my experiences have been good dealings. I've had many give me break with warnings and some had great senses of humor too. Firemen usually don't get such grief. Sad when you try to help people and keep them safe-some people have such an attitude. LOL>No good deed goes unpunished some say.

itsanotherday1
47061
Points
itsanotherday1 07/10/13 - 02:53 pm
4
0
Myfather, all you have to do

Myfather, all you have to do is weed out the jacklegs like was portrayed in the video, and populate the ranks with men like you and Waymore. I don't know you personally, but like RM, I feel you are one of the good guys.

I've never been treated with anying other than respect in the handful of times I've had dealings with LE (all traffic); but I have witnessed too many instances of unnecessary harsh treatment, and seen too many cases of guys with badges who acted like it made them 10ft tall and bulletproof. It is that attitude that riles people like GAD, dstewartsr, and me up, not the nice guy who is genuinely into being a good policeman; helpful and sociable to the ordinary Joe, and firm but fair with the accused. I recognize the need for quick and intimidating presence when handling a suspect, but too often it leads to harsh treatment that isn't called for.

myfather15
55844
Points
myfather15 07/10/13 - 03:12 pm
2
1
Biz and Itsanotherday

I agree with both of you, as I normally do. Both you guys are perfectly correct, there are bad guys out here, wearing the uniform. Some of the time it's a good guy, as you said; having a bad day and taking it out on the public. I've seen it with my two eyes MANY times over 16 years. I've also said some things to people over the years that I wish I could have taken back. Mostly people doing stupid things and almost killing me, lol. I've cursed out a few people for almost running over me, while directing traffic!! Most of the time I see them and they're on their cellphones or looking at the wreck and not at me, then almost run over me. Adrenaline kicks in and words start to fly!!

But I've never been one to have the big head because of badge, even when I was 23 and just getting into law enforcement. Maybe because I came straight out of the Marine Corps and not high school or college. Anyway, I've never been one to "Assert my authority" on anyone! But I do see THOSE guys, and I've tried to talk to many of them about the way they talk to people; some just won't listen.

My problem isn't with people like you guys who point out TRUTH; that there are those bad guys out there. My problem is with people who assert "We are all like that" and use terms like Gestapo, to describe all LE officers. Acting like we are part of some criminal gang or something; when the VAST majority of us are decent human beings, with honor and integrity!! I can always tell those people by their wording and I might go to far with it, but I can't let them spew that junk without saying something.

GiantsAllDay
10295
Points
GiantsAllDay 07/10/13 - 03:16 pm
3
2
I have every reason to

I have every reason to believe that MF15 plays by the rules. This whole comment thread started with an editorial about bogus speeding tickets. MF15 had the best solution. I was a little off topic when I brought up ORL, a 1940's Germany style checkpoint. Over the years, the courts have given more and more power to the police. We jail a larger % of our citizens than any other developed country. My thoughts as to why:
The failed war on drugs
For profit prisons and jails
Outsourcing probation departments
There is $$$ to be made in throwing people in jail. I myself am a shareholder of Corrections Corporation of America (NYSE: CXW)

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